An advertising campaign by Germany’s transport ministry to persuade cyclists to wear helmets has sparked accusations of sexism, as it features a model wearing just a helmet and underwear.
With the slogan: “Looks like shit. But saves my life,” the advert features a profile-shot of Alicija Köhler, a competitor in the gameshow Germany’s Next Topmodel, sporting a violet coloured helmet and a lacy bra.
But the advert, which is due to be plastered on billboards from Tuesday, ran smack into criticism, with the women’s wing of junior coalition partners the SPD demanding it be halted.
"Looks like shit. But saves my life"
“It is embarrassing, stupid and sexist for the transport minister to be selling his policies using naked skin,” Maria Noichl, chairwoman of the wing, told the country’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
The family minister, Franziska Giffey, also hit out at the transport minister, Andreas Scheuer, of the conservative CSU party.
Posting a photo of herself dressed in a business attire with her bicycle on Facebook, she wrote: “Dear Andreas Scheuer: fully dressed also goes well with a helmet!”
Defending the advert, a transport ministry spokesman said: “A successful road safety campaign should jolt people and can be polarising.”